The Ultimate Guide to Transitional Style

You can’t be forced into one box, nor can your home. You like modern style, but you’re drawn to traditional design, too. You love bedroom designs with a chic feel and loads of character, and you want your living room to have the best of boho, industrial, cottage-core, and mid-century-mod. 


The answer? Transitional style! Learn the common elements of transitional rooms, and how to bring this perfectly blended style into your home.


What Is Transitional Style? 


In short, a transitional decorating style blends multiple design styles and eras. Transitional style is personal, as it combines the things you love in an intentional way that functions well and looks good. 


At its core, transitional style doesn’t follow any particular design rules, which can be simultaneously freeing and daunting. Even though there aren’t any specific “rules” to transitional style, several common design elements pop up. These include:


  • repurposed items
  • sentimental objects or family heirlooms
  • antiques 
  • pieces that have a history, or even a personal story behind them


If your taste is eclectic and feels like a mashup of multiple design styles, leaning into transitional design could be a perfect fit for you. Learn how to embrace transitional home style with sophistication and purpose.


Choosing Transitional Style Furniture: Mix Old with New


Whether you want to create a transitional-style bedroom or living room, let’s start with your most significant design element: furniture. If you have an antique buffet, dresser, or sofa that you’ve inherited from a family member, make it your starting point! Or, choose a clean-lined, smooth-topped dining table and pair it with curvy upholstered chairs. Choose seating and large furniture pieces from different decades for a transitional living room. Mix and match different silhouettes, textures, design eras, and shapes to create visual interest and a look that’s all your own. No matchy-matchy bedroom sets here!


Transitional Home Style: Balance Classics and Trends


Rooms designed with transitional style leave you lots of wiggle room for incorporating trends… or not. Maybe you like changing up your decor with the latest trends. Great! Start with a few staple pieces for your room, and change out your furniture as trends in home decorating come and go. Even if you lean toward a traditional, transitional style, you can keep your furniture and oversized items the same and incorporate a few trendy items in your room to keep things fresh. Bring in a few sleek accessories or a modern light fixture if your room feels too old-fashioned. And if it feels too “blah” and sterile? Add antique elements like quilts, old books, or rusty wall decor. It’s all about balance!


Use Both Romantic and Traditional Elements in Your Transitional Style Interior Design


Are you sensing a theme here? Transitional decorating style is all about mixing styles rather than leaning into one extreme or another. Just like you want to mix old and new, you also want to balance softer and more traditional elements in a transitional space. A cognac leather couch is quickly offset by textured throw pillows with tassels, and an airy glass lamp can serve as the perfect complement to a heavy wooden console table. If you’re stuck, determine if your room has too much of one thing, like dark color or bold pattern. Then, remove some of those elements and add pieces with opposite characteristics until you like the feel of the room. Again, balance is critical in transitional design style; you don’t have to be afraid to go through trial and error to find it!


Choose a Cohesive Color Palette


You’ll see many mismatched elements in rooms designed with transitional style. So how do you keep it all from looking haphazard? Choose a color palette that brings it all together! You can choose a bold hue if that fits your personality, but it’s often easier to stick with neutral shades and let your eclectic accessories serve as occasional pops of color. Transitional style also incorporates many different textures and patterns, so use those to keep a neutral palette from feeling flat.


Choose Decor That Means Something to You


If transitional style is a mix of anything and everything, how are you supposed to choose what to include in your space? Use pieces that mean something to you! If you love floral prints because they remind you of your grandmother, incorporate them. If you have a collection of salt and pepper shakers you’ve collected while traveling, display them on a beautiful open bookshelf and use them to inspire the rest of the room. If your dog is the love of your life, hang a giant portrait of them on the wall. Incorporating pieces that carry meaning to you is the perfect starting point when designing a transitional style bedroom, dining room, or living room—not to mention, it makes your home feel more like “yours,” as it should.


Shop Transitional Style Furniture for Your Home with CORT

Tap into transitional interior design with CORT Furniture Rental. Find the furniture and decor you’ll need to create a comfortable, functional living space that doesn’t compromise on style; browse online or heading into your local CORT Furniture Rental Showroom. Enjoy Furniture on Your Terms — simply choose your lease term and the furniture package that best suits your space and style. We’ll take away part of the stress of decorating your home by providing pre-selected packages, or hand the reigns over to you and let you choose from our lineup of timeless pieces that easily work with any style and accessories. Whether you pick you package or we do, we’ll deliver and set up your furniture and take it away when your lease term ends.

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